At the Public Relations Organization International (PROI) conference held in Denver last month, I had the opportunity to hear from a panel of in-house, senior-level communications professionals who spoke about what they hope to get out of agency partnerships. Each of the panelists previously worked for creative agencies themselves, providing for unique insight and surprisingly simple answers. Below are the top three things this expert panel asks of agency partners.
Whether you’re a recent grad or preparing for a milestone high school reunion – there’s something about the “Back to School” season and quick change of seasons from summer to fall that drums up nostalgia for many people. And while my own children have been back to school for a little bit now, the very recent prospect of new backpacks, fresh notebooks and un-sharpened pencils really brought me back to that annual feeling of the chance for a fresh start.
Early New Year’s Resolutions
I recently read an article in Real Simple that offered “5 Excellent Habits to Start When School Does.” As adults, we often look to New Year’s Resolutions to start something new, but this article got me thinking that Back to School is a good time, too!
Start Assignments Immediately
My favorite tip from this article is to adopt a “read and discuss” policy. How often have you put off a project to the last minute, only to find that it actually would take only a few minutes to finish? I know I’ve done it before, and I love this tip for diving in to understand the components immediately. If it’s easy, just get it done! If it’s going to take a little more time, the “read and discuss” approach allows for some time to ponder the best plan of attack. Read more after the jump…
Every time I reach for my AP Style Book, I am reminded of a college journalism professor who left her mark on me for a couple of reasons: First, we had weekly quizzes on the AP Style Book, which was a great way to learn and practice the rules. And if you weren’t sure there was a rule, at least we all learned to use the book to see if a rule existed.
Second, she was a stickler for writing in the simplest terms, using concise, action words and cutting out fat from our writing. Following is a list of words or phrases that should be eliminated from our writing, along with a suitable replacement word. Just like Bitly and Tiny URL help us shorten URLs for social media, this list can help tighten all of our writing. What are some of your favorite words or phrases that can be omitted and replaced with a single word?
|In order to||To|
|Very ugly, very fat, very angry||Hideous, obese, furious|
|In the event that||If|
|On account of the fact that
Because of the fact that
Due to the fact that
|In spite of the fact that||Although, though, despite|
|In the absence of||Without|
|In the event that||If|
|A large proportion of||Many|
|In a situation in which||When|
|There is a need for||Must|
|Along the lines of||Like|
|At the present time||Now, currently|
Facebook Livestream has brought communicators a fabulous storytelling tool for clients. Whether you are looking to cover an event, launch a new product, host a seminar or share news, it is a simple way to engage specific target audiences.
In fact, I recently worked with a local television station partner to amplify messaging for a public education campaign via Facebook Livestream on location and wanted to share a few tips:
• Once you determine a date/time, share that information across your social platforms to help gain an audience; repost it during and after with links to the livestream, as appropriate.
• Scout out a location beforehand and determine connections, best lighting, areas with the least noise/interruptions, etc.
• If you are outside, check on the placement of the sun and shading. Read more after the jump…
Let’s be honest, chasing corporate sponsorships or charitable donations is a challenging job for both the nonprofit partner and the corporate partner. Wouldn’t it be nice to secure long-term partnerships that allow for building relationships, additional time for strategic planning, the ability to execute events and/or programs AND generate measurable results? YES!
I love this quote by Stephen Kinzer, “Alliances and partnerships produce stability when they reflect realities and interests.” Getting the stars to align is no small task. However, here are a few tips for moving things in the right direction for corporate giving teams and nonprofit partners:
Whether it’s dreaming up the perfect copy for a social media post, crafting a pitch for a key reporter, or strategizing how to report metrics to executives – the daily life of a communications professional requires a lot of widely-varied creative ideas and solutions!
Some days the creativity flows like a river and other days the creative process takes a little longer to get going, which is why I read two recent articles with great interest!
Creativity Isn’t About Talent, It’s a Mood
If you’re a fan of Monty Python, you’re a fan of co-founder John Cleese who – it turns out – is obsessed with creativity. This recent article describes some of Cleese’s best tips for setting the right mood for creativity which include:
- Creating a space/time oasis where you can get away from daily distractions and disturbances
- Sticking with problems just a little longer than when the “easy way out” appears… the alternative is almost always more creative
- My personal favorite: making mistakes because “while you’re being creative, nothing is wrong”
- Embracing humor, because it’s essential to spontaneity and playfulness, two key ingredients to creativity
- Keeping a light hold of the problem you’re pondering, as you’re likely to be rewarded with a creative solution when you least expect it
While President Obama had his fair share of scuffles with the media, they didn’t get the kind of attention President Trump’s school-yard battles are getting now. After several decades during which the media has lost trust, credibility and interest among Americans, will the new President bring back the Fourth Estate to its former glory?
I recently came across a Politico article titled: Trump Is Making Journalism Great Again. According to the article, there’s always been a quid pro quo in Washington, where journalists groom sources, but sources also groom journalists. “There’s nothing inherently unethical about the back-scratching. When a reporter calls an administration source to confirm an embarrassing item, the source may agree to confirm as long as the reporter at the very least agrees to listen sympathetically to the administration’s context.”
Looking ahead to a new year can be exciting when you’re crafting PR plans to support new products, big events, major milestones or exciting announcements. But, if you’re going into 2017 with nothing new on the horizon, don’t lose heart. There are still ways to keep your brand in front of the media and in the news!
Monitor for trends and breaking news
It’s always a good idea to monitor for trends and breaking news items that relate to your brand. This is easily accomplished by establishing Google Alerts relevant to you and having a list of brand spokespeople who you can quickly position as experts as the trend or news emerges. Now is a great time to freshen your list of experts, including their areas of expertise, current contact information and preferred methods of contact so that in a time-sensitive situation you can reach them quickly. Read more after the jump…
Millennials are a prized demographic for communicators – they’ve been analyzed and overanalyzed as companies adjust to millennials having more purchasing power than before or simply joining their workforce. But, it’s time to think about the next generation as they could be even more influential in changing the face of marketing communications.
I recently came across this Fast Company article that I think can also apply to emails you send reporters: “Four Email Subject Lines That Make Everyone Hate You.” Here are some of the lines that the article calls out as ones to avoid: